Resuming Life Your Way: Lessons from Naresh Naik

Stress can be overwhelming, especially when it feels like we’re not getting what we always dreamt of. Whether it’s work, school, family, or relationships, the pressures of everyday life can add up quickly. It’s no wonder that sometimes we find ourselves asking, “how do I restart my life?”

But the truth is, life doesn’t stop there. One inspiring example is Naresh Naik, who, at the age of 58, resumed his life his way. Naresh had spent decades working in the corporate world, but he felt unfulfilled and yearned for something more.

So, he decided to embark on a journey of self-discovery and reinvention. He quit his job and traveled the world, exploring different cultures, meeting new people, and learning new skills. He even climbed Mount Everest, fulfilling a lifelong dream.

Naresh’s story teaches us that it’s never too late to start over and pursue our passions. We don’t have to be stuck in a job or a lifestyle that doesn’t bring us joy. Instead, we can take a step back, breathe, and re-evaluate what truly matters to us.

Of course, restarting our lives can be easier said than done. We may face financial or personal obstacles, and it can be difficult to know where to start. But the key is to take small steps towards our goals, and to not give up even when things get tough.

In conclusion, Naresh Naik’s story serves as an inspiration for all of us. We can learn from his example and find the courage to pursue our own passions, even if it means starting over. So, let’s take a deep breath, and begin our own journey towards a more fulfilling life.

Podcast episode below:

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“ The Indian Journal of Psychiatry states that 30% of Doctors suffer from depression at some point in their lives “

Yes, the very doctors we seek to cure our physical and mental problems are the ones that are at risk of Depression.

If you find this fact staggering, you should take a look at the fact below.

The Same Indian Journal of Psychiatry also states that 17% of Doctors and Medical Professionals have thought about ending their lives at some point in time.

It may sound shocking, but it is true. This is caused by the immense stress these medical professionals go through every single day. The High Doctor: Patient ratios in India, paves the way for a highly stressful work environment for medical professionals in our country.
Why will India need more doctors in the future?

While the current number of doctors is too low to look after patients, a lot of us have thought that the coming years will be great for the medical community. But tragically, the future does not look good either. The World Health Organization ( WHO ) states that India has 7 doctors for 10,000 people.

Do the math right and you will find that there isn’t even a single doctor for a 1000 people in the country. The Average count of doctor: people ratio is a shocking 1: 1428.

The research also states another interesting yet disturbing fact. Even with the good number of medical colleges and students opting to become medical professionals, India will take a lot more years to achieve the 1: 1000 of Doctor: Patient ratio.

The calculated facts state that India needs at least until 2030 to achieve this ratio. But by then the estimated level of the Indian population would rise from 1.239 billion to 1.476 billion. The simple solution is that we need more doctors and better resources we need to give them improved working conditions.

Why are Doctors at Risk of Depression?

Depression is a mental condition that negatively alters the way of life, causing a feeling of sadness. It can spring up due to a number of reasons, but a highly stressful life is one of the major reasons people fall into depression.

Doctors lead a stressful life and when they fail to implement proper stress management techniques, they sometimes end up finding depression at their doorsteps.

Reason for doctor falling into depression

Untimely work shifts
Irregular sleep patterns
Lack of support and empathy from superiors
Loneliness in the workplace
Failing to strike a balance between personal and professional life
The sudden death of a patient

And a number of other small reasons that add up over time.

Why do Doctors refrain from sharing their problems with the Community?

Doctors are health advocates and when they claim that they are affected, they simply lose their credibility. Even worse is that Depression can put doctors at risk of losing their rights to professional practice.

Yes, doctors defer from telling their peers and colleagues that they suffer from depression. This is because of licensing boards that prevent depressed and mentally unstable doctors from carrying on with their practice.

The Medical Boards in India always make sure that the patients are safe in the hands of their doctors. Suffering from a mental illness or depression makes a doctor unfit for medical practice.

The type of doctors that are at risk of getting depressed

trauma surgeons
Emergency care doctors
vascular surgeons
general surgeons
The specializations of a medical professional put them in a state where they have no people to relate to. There is also a pressure to make Life-Saving decisions in their practice adding to the stressors of life. When these professionals fail to allocate their time to take care of their mental health, falling into a cycle of depression seems inevitable.
Are Junior Doctors safe from these pitfalls?

If you consider junior doctors and early medical professionals to be safe from depression, you need to think again. Junior Doctors are at more risk of suffering from depression due to another set of reasons.

Errors with prescription
Humane Errors while taking care of patients
Losing patience with patients/caregivers
Inability to communicate with patients.
Lack of empathy and understanding from seniors.
Let’s Take a Look at the case study from a Tertiary care Hospital in North India

This Live study was implemented to serve as proof for the claims of increasing psychological disorders and burnout among medical professionals.

An online survey was forwarded to the 1721 doctors and hospital staff. A total of 445 professionals responded to the online survey and the results were quite shocking

Here are the test results of this online survey.

30.1% of Professionals were reported to have depression or experienced it in the past
16.7% of professionals had suicidal thoughts in the past
And a whopping 90% of them were evidently burnout

This proves that Doctors are going through extreme sets of depression and other mental health problems. We need to act quickly and fiercely to put in measures that will save the people who save us.

Jai Hind

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We all commonly perceive health as just a lack of illness. It has a much broader definition, which has changed manifolds over the course of history.
The World Health Organization states that  “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being”. Human Health is distinguished into 5 different aspects.

5 aspects of Human health

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Emotional
  • Social
  • Spiritual

Even though they seem independent, all aspects of human health are interlinked and a slight change in their normalcy affects each other.
We’ll just cover the important aspects of Physical, Mental, and Social health in a short description below.

Physical health:

Physical health is considered to be the most crucial one out of all aspects of health. If your body functions are at peak performance with no signs of illness, then you are considered to be physically healthy.

Mental Health:

However, we forget to take the super important mental health into account. You are considered to be mentally healthy if you can experience all the basic human emotions like happiness, Sadness, Anger, despair, etc
If you are able to regain your natural rhythm after experiencing these emotions, you are considered to be mentally healthy.
For example, a person with depression is considered to be mentally unhealthy because he loses his ability to experience other forms of emotional happiness for a long time.

Social Health :

Human beings are socially wired and require frequent interaction with their species to be healthy and sane. We have the urge to feel connected with our fellow human beings at every moment of our lives. A study conducted by Harvard revealed that having a good set of relationships leads to inner happiness and a fulfilled life.

Why should we take care of our mental health?

Mental health is closely connected with all other aspects of human health. Failing to take care of it disturbs your physical, social and spiritual wellbeing. Not taking the time to acknowledge your mental health has a major impact on the way you think and behave.

The quality of your relationship and overall productivity can take a hit if you do not focus on your mental health.

Research has found that mental disorders can produce chronic physical illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. Moreover, mental illness is declared as the “10th leading cause of death”. This states the importance of the fact that mental health needs to be given equal or maybe more importance over physical health.

If you have some concern related to relationship, work from home stress, depression, study, concentration, or anything that needs attention, you can listen to my podcasts on God Is Not Fair? podcast channel available on all the leading podcast platforms.

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More than 135,000 people commit suicide in India every year. In the age group of 15-29, India has one of the highest youth suicide rates in the world with between 30 and 40 people per 100,000 commiting suicide. Out of this figure, as many as 20,000 of them – around 15 per cent, surprisingly take this step due to “Heartbreak”.

We come from a society where everyone in thier lifetime is bound to have one partner. If you look at our cultural influences, from the folktale of Heer Ranjha to most of the Bollywood stories from the 1970s and 1980s, they are about the hero sacrificing himself or the heroine sacrificing herself for their one and only love – all of this is embedded in our cultural memory. In that sense, we are a very romantic race; we believe in the idea of a soulmate. People carve the name of their loved ones on their wrists. It still happens.

We then try to look for solutions to handling break-up in western culture, but it is very clear that they have not figured out how to manage their emotions, right? So what do we do? How do we shape ourselves as individuals and as a society? I think relationships are crucial to that. I think the answer lies in our spiritual traditions, which talk about the love that you have for your partner as being the love that is a part of you. It’s your own energy.

Love is a feeling which might have been evoked by someone else for a while, and now it’s gone and then suddenly you feel alone, but then that love has carved you as a person and made you are today, and if you can connect with that energy without any triggers from external source, there are a lot of opportunities to feel love.

To overcome a break up or a heartbreak, there are two powerful ways: First is to accept that it is over. The second way is to take the time to nurture yourself, to stay connected with people around you, to find someone who you can talk to about what you are experiencing – either a therapist or a close friend. You have to ensure that you are eating, sleeping and getting exercise, and slowly allow your mind to start working. And, eventually, figuring out the true source of the pain, which is not the loss of the relationship, but a deeper insecurity post your break-up that you have been unaware of.

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Overcoming a Breakup

In recent past there had been a lot of noise level around the word “Break – Up” and even there had been quite a few movies and songs made on this topic. Let me share an incident with you. I was working in my office late evening and started getting irritated for no reason.

This was the time when all my team member had left for the day and I was making a presentation for an upcoming pitch. Air conditioner was off to save electricity, but it wasn’t hot either. I was failing to understand why the hell I am getting irritated without any reason.

I noticed that I’m facing a bit difficulty in typing on my laptop and all of sudden my irritation increased further; I yelled inside ‘let me fix this damn chair’ and I just stood up to change the chair. As I stood up, something said in my brain ‘Can’t you adjust it to your requirement?’ I then realized, the chair which I was sitting on is below than its usual height probably because someone used it in my absence and adjusted to his or her height. I
thought within, what a waste of time and energy, after adjusting the same chair to my requirement.

Relationships are much like this. No one is good or bad in this world, it’s all about compatibility to each other’s need. My relatively mature readers (age wise) would agree with me, Divorce or Breakup were very less heard words 30 – 40 years back and it was not because almost everybody was having a perfect relationship, it was because children were tamed since very beginning on the value of relationship, love, compassion.

Now a days, most people in metros and even in developing cities now, are living as nuclear families and they are kind of addicted to their so-called FREEDOM. The teenagers are in hurry to become mature and independent and, I don’t see any wrong in this. But, when it comes to relationship, they are too mild and too young to take any unexpected jolt in their relationship. The same children grow up and become matured but disoriented at relationship.

We need to understand few basic things, what goes was never meant for you and what’s yours will never go.

We have a habit of attaching ourselves very easily to a negative notion/feeling when hurt and that’s natural. We need to tell ourselves in this situation that whatever period of time we lived with the concerned person and if he/ she really mattered to us even for few months or years, we should be grateful to them for being with us for
whatever amount of time.

Love cannot be forced so if YOU REALLY LOVE OR LOVED, let them go and cherish the moments you spent together.

Remember your childhood? When you were hurt in your leg with a stone or something, did you cry forever? or you still cry for that? No, you cried for some time, did whatever you thought was right at that time and moved on.

The same thing has to be done in a relationship as well. Nothing is permanent not even our name nor our so-called identity. When a patient goes in an operation theatre, doctor says – please bring Mr. Sharma inside
and once the person is no more, the same doctor in the same hospital and scenario says, please take the body out.

Life is much bigger and beautiful than staying hurt or blaming someone for our loss. And, if you think still nothing is working out for you, start giving back to the society, community and country in whatever possible way. You’ll certainly feel better
and see a newer and an unexplored world.

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In a mutually interdependent world, none of us has absolute control over everything we choose to do. You are either being influenced by others or exerting influence simply by being who you are.

Nobody is 100% original. Beethoven was influenced by Mozart. Einstein had Michelson. Almost all of our decisions and ideas have been influenced by people we admire, peers, teachers, religion, parents, bosses, etc.

Everything we say or don’t say, do or don’t do, are or are not, that modifies, affects, or changes someone else’s behaviour, thoughts, or actions, consciously or unconsciously, for good or for ill

Influence is key to solving everyday problems and making an impact. In fact, influence is happening all the time at home and at work. Every single day, we are faced with the task of persuading others. And every single day, we face resistance. There are two fundamental paths to influence, according to research — dominance and prestige. When we establish dominance, we gain influence because others see us as strong, powerful, and authoritative.

When we earn prestige, we become influential because others respect and admire us. Direct influence functions linearly — the closer you are personally and physically to others, the greater your influence over them, and vice versa. Influence begins with you. You can’t get good connections if you are not ready to give it. Influencing others is how we get what we want in life and career. It’s how we make and improve relationships. It’s how we win negotiations, sell ideas, and services to others. With or without your permission, you are being influenced by the closest people around you. The more good influences you surround yourself with, the happier you’ll be.

Influence others by modelling positive behaviours

Do you relate well to others? Do people want to support you because they like what you stand for, what you do or who you are as a person?

To win influence others and persuade people, appreciate the good in them. Charles Schwab once argued, “I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people. The greatest asset I possess and t way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.”

People like to be appreciated. You don’t have to overdo it. But the more you genuinely appreciate the good in others, the more they are likely to draw closer to you. Never forget to appreciate the people close to you.

Positive objective feedback is important for our growth, but criticism wounds a people’s pride hurts their sense of importance and arouses resentment. You will not win people over if you are a nagging constant in their lives.

There is a natural human tendency to dislike a person who brings us unpleasant information, even when that person did not cause the bad news. The simple association with it is enough to stimulate our dislike. Criticism usually makes us strive to justify ourselves. If you must criticise, call attention to others’ mistakes indirectly, especially if you are having a conversation with sensitive people who may resent bitterly any direct criticism.

Many people fail to notice even the smallest good things in others. Make others feel respected and valued despite their shortfalls.

Empower the people close to you and make them feel confident. When you think of empowering others, think of the good old saying ‘People will forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel’.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you, ” says Dale Carnegie. People will immediately start liking you if you show interest in them first.

To persuade others, boost your confidence. Confident people tend to rise to the top quickly than those who lack a sense of confidence and are insecure. Work on your social skills and become comfortable in your own skin.

Franklin D. Roosevelt had great influence during WWII by confidently stating “we will win through absolute victory” in his 1941 speech after the attack on Pearl Harbor: “No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory.”

He sounded more confident and people trusted and believed him.

There is no single right way to influence or persuade others. But in the end, our actions matter more than we think.

Connection with other people is fundamental to our survival. Human connection is better given than taken. Every single one of us can be influenced — but we are also all capable of influencing others. To make real progress in life and at work, you have to improve your persuasion skills.


Influencing people is about understanding yourself and the effect or impact you have on others. Whatever you do, your job will require you to influence people. It pays to adapt and modify your personal style if you want to make a positive influence on others and win their

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Mark Twain once said, “The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.” He couldn’t be more right. If you finally accept yourself and your flaws, your life will be much less burdensome.

So what is the antidote to self judgement? We think it is the art of radical self acceptance. Accepting who you are and building on that. Self-acceptance is the ability to accept yourself as you are instead of how you wish you were, or how you wish others percieved you. It frees you from an overly high concern with what other people think about you.

Why is Self-Acceptance important?

The feelings of shame and unworthiness are the source of many problems we experience with our relationships, careers, and creative endeavours. Self-acceptance is the feeling of satisfaction with yourself despite your weaknesses and regardless of your past behaviours and choices. It’s necessary for good mental health.

When we’re self-accepting, we’re able to embrace all facets of ourselves — not just the positive parts. Self-acceptance could be the key to a happier life, yet it’s the happy habit many people practice the least.

In one of our favourite books, “Happiness Now”, Robert Holden talks about how self-acceptance determines your level of happiness. The more self-acceptance you have, the more happiness you’ll allow yourself to accept, receive and enjoy. In other words, you enjoy as much happiness as you believe you’re worthy of.

For many people we know in our life, self-acceptance is truly a great struggle. They consistently doubt themselves. And with more doubt comes even more negative thoughts about themselves. And more negative thoughts can quickly become your reality.

The bitter is, we will never be free of the feelings of despair, or self-loathing. The good news is, we don’t have to identify with these emotional feelings. You can accept them and still focus on being the best version of yourself.

Let’s now understand the perspective of experts on self-acceptance.

Jeffrey Sumber, Psychotherapist, says that it is vital that we set an intention for ourselves that we are willing to shift paradigms from a world of blame, doubt and shame to a world of allowance, tolerance, acceptance and trust. It’s not possible that self-loathing or poor self-acceptance will lead to a satisfying life.

Fortunately, self-acceptance is something we can nurture. See it as a skill you can practice versus an innate trait you either have or don’t.

Learning self-acceptance teaches you to focus your mind to provide self-pardon, rather than repeating fear-provoking habits self-judgment.

If you are having a tough time accepting yourself, hone your strengths. Pay more attention to things you are good at.

You can even go a step further by writing your abilities down. This puts things in perspective for you. Start with something basic like “I’m a kind person.” If you are having trouble coming up with things you are great at, ask your friends and colleagues to help you. Sometimes, the people close to us are better at noticing our greatest strengths. Don’t force to write everything at a single sitting. Typically, lists evolve with time. Another kind of list is a list to boost your confidence and appreciate how far you’ve come. Make a list of all the hardships you’ve overcome, all the goals you’ve accomplished, all the connections you’ve made, and all the lives you’ve touched for the better. Keep it close by, review it frequently, and add to it often.

Remember, reading about making lists and thinking about making lists is not the same as ACTUALLY sitting down and makings lists.

Why is it important to remove self-loathing out of your system?

Negative emotions generally require more thinking, and the information is processed more thoroughly than positive ones. Typical human behaviour focuses on negative qualities. People who judge themselves harshly process negative emotions more than negative ones. That means they spend more time contemplating the bad stuff and less time on the good stuff. We are much better collectors of our shortcomings than our strengths. This can easily become a cycle that becomes difficult to break.

Getting through life happily requires us to understand the balance of positive and negative emotions and work towards accepting ourselves and still become the best versions of ourselves.

Practising self-acceptance requires that you develop more self-compassion. One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is self-acceptance.

In the words of psychologist Tara Brach: “Imperfection is not our personal problem – it is a natural part of existing. The boundary to what we can accept is the boundary to our freedom.”

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Health Risk of Evening Stress

Over the last two decades of research on stress and it’s co-relation to health effects, a lot of revelations have come.

Stress can contribute to a range of heart problems, which over a period of time can contribute to the fatal heart attacks. Chronic stress, one which is present in someone for years, can affect the body’s immune and endocrine systems as well as metabolic processes. These can in turn induce diabetes, bowel disease and sometimes even cancer.

As the research becomes more targeted, researchers are now studying the cortisol and hormonal changes that happen in the body when it is undergoing stress. Cortisol is now identified as the “stress hormone”, after researchers successfully established the connection when a controlled group of patients were put under stress.

Our bodies have evolved over millions of years of evolution, and make no mistake hormones like Cortisol are extremely important in its function. Cortisol arms the body and prepares it to face a potential threat, it also plays a very important role in reducing body inflammation. One of cortisol’s another important function is to activate certain immune cells that will help prevent any inflammation in the body to go out of control.

Our bodies are perfectly crafted machines, but what happens when the 21st century factors like chronic stress kicks in?

If someone goes through chronic stress, their cortisol levels are chronically elevated, the immune systems supposed to take care of the inflammations is suddenly glitching.

But preventing inflammation isn’t the only function of cortisol. If you are analysing a healthy person, cortisol tends to rise and fall throughout the day in a very predictable manner. Usually cortisol levels are at its highest almost 30 minutes after we wake up. After this morning peak, the levels usually decline throughout the day and bottoms out before a person falls asleep. It is this rise and fall of cortisol that maintains Circadian Rhythms. For the uninitiated, it is the rhythm of life that governs everything from our sleep to cellular repair to maintenance to even appetite.

Now let’s talk about what happens when chronic stress kicks in, specifically, when chronic stress kicks late evening. We are talking about late evening because it is the most common thing, taken any population across the world.

Evening stress can cause numbing or spiking of the cortisol levels and both of these amount to health risks. If our body’s cortisol levels are dulled in the evening, we are exposing ourselves to a nervous system collapse. This can in turn bring in obesity, diabetes and blood pressure.

Now if the cortisol levels are high in the evening, it can significantly disrupt the sleep cycles. The long term effects?

Flattening” of the body’s normal cortisol slope ie you see that morning cortisol levels are not as elevated, and evening levels aren’t as low,” she says. This sort of shift could throw off the body’s circadian rhythms in ways that contribute to a range of health issues. The worst part of this? It happens over a period of years, and we will not even be knowing about it. We can indeed know about it if we are consciously thinking of our body’s and mind’s states.

The one thing which can help you with this is meditation. You can download from a host of apps like Headspace, Calm etc. Meditation will put you at ease, help you fall asleep and even add a lot of clarity to your mind through to the next day.

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Acedia the lesser known twin of depression

Are you suffering from depression?
Or are you dealing with it’s lesser known twin – Acedia.

Crisis comes across multiple stages of life. You may be worried everyday about what you are doing with you life, you procrastinate whatever you want to do, and end up doing nothing anyways.

I will be prepared for my work at the start of everyday, meetings with my clients, answering emails etc.

“Anyway, I will end up doing none of it. I do not do any of the work, just spend time on Netflix and regret it later. I want to develop myself spiritually and physically. But, I never manage to do any of that too. This is my everyday pattern of self-destruction rather than construction. I go into a spiral of negativity and it goes on forever. I think I am in depression.

This was the conversation that we most heard repeated when taken a consensus of 20-30 year olds.

Well, good news for anyone going through this phase of life. Be assured but, you are not suffering from depression.

The midday demon – Acedia, was coined by monks in the 4th century, such has been its existence. Acedia was one of the most severe problems that is out there today because of the despair and absolute disdain for life it produced in a human being. It’s a shame the word has been lost to ancient textbooks and is no longer used, because acedia’s effects carry far more weight in today’s cultural environment.

In Kathleen Norris’s book, Acedia & me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life. In the book she quotes a monk who states:

“The demon of acediaalso called the noonday demonis the one that causes the most serious trouble of all…He makes it seem that the sun barely moves, if at all, and…he instills in the heart of the monk a hatred for the place, a hatred for his very life itself.”

Let’s see what their life was – In the morning they were excited and completing their chores. But by mid-afternoon they gave in to the despair of the repetitive nature of their tasks. Sleeping increased and so did they laziness. Eventually, they despised life itself as they spiralled into a dark hole. The old feeling of apathy and indecisiveness where spirals further leads to numbness, only to spiral further out of control and further despise being alive.

Combatting Acedia
Now that we have stated the symptoms of Acedia, we understand how we can combat it, because it is very much possible to do that.

To push through acedia, the monks found joy after they had completed tasks at work even though sometimes the drudgery seemed insurmountable they pushed through and praying — even in short bouts — they were glad they did. For everyone in this life, discipline often becomes the defining fire by which things like talent or goals become an actual ability. It is indifference and believing it will always be this way that keeps us stuck. You may be tempted to think, “this is just another way to call depression something else” but consider that there’s always been a power in naming things or knowing your enemy to fight them.

Understand what you are going through. Fix it.

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